[Guide] Animal Crossing: New Horizons Best Ways To Get Iron Nuggets (Top 5 Ways)

Animal Crossing New Horizons Best Ways To Get Iron Nuggets (Top 5 Ways)
Looks like we have a lot of work to do.

You’ve been dubbed mayor of a beautiful island, but you have much work ahead of you in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. That includes finding 30 iron nugget pieces to build Nook’s Cranny. That’s okay, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran of the franchise, we've got you covered. In this list, we’ll explain the most common methods to obtain iron nuggets with detailed steps!


5. Compel Villagers To Give You Iron Nuggets (For Early Game)

Let’s cut to the chase—I need iron nuggets.

Luckily, you live among kind villagers willing to aid you. Use this to your advantage by prompting them to give iron nuggets to you. This method isn’t necessarily easy and may take a while. However, it’s best for beginners because it’s more likely to happen when you need to build Nook’s Cranny.

A villager might call your name and walk up to you. In that case, talk to them. They’ll probably give you an item. You can also start a conversation with a resident, hoping they’ll fork over iron nuggets.


How It works:

  • Start a conversation with all the villagers.
  • Wait for the villagers to talk to you.
  • Do this repeatedly until you get iron nuggets.


1. Walk up to a villager.

2. Press A to talk to them.

3. Select the first option.

4. The villager might give you iron nuggets.

5. Do this with all villagers repeatedly until you get iron nuggets.


4. Shoot Present Balloons Out of The Sky

Hmm, I wonder what’s in there.

Another way to earn iron nuggets is by shooting balloon presents from the sky. A balloon present will float by every few minutes, and you can use a slingshot to get them down and collect items. Like the previous method, this one takes time since the items in the gifts are random. Patience is key. 

Many players think the color of the balloon indicates the items inside. Unfortunately, that’s not true, so knock down every balloon you see. You can hear them blowing in the wind when they’re near, so keep your eyes and ears peeled! 

How It Works:

  • Use your slingshot to shoot down floating presents.
  • You’ll have to wait around for them.


1. Take out your slingshot.

2. Walk under the balloon.

3. Press and hold A to ready your slingshot until the present is directly above you.

4. Release A to send the pebble flying toward the balloon.

5. Press Y to pick up the gift when it falls.

6. Open your inventory.

7. Scroll over the present you just picked up.

8. Press A to open the gift.


3. Mine on Your Island

Two down, 28 more to go!

A common way of obtaining iron nuggets is by mining on your island. Every island has six rocks; you can use these as the primary source of iron nuggets.

You need to note several mining tips. First, make sure you’ve eaten nothing prior to mining. Your brute strength will break the rocks. Next, dig two holes behind your character to ensure you aren’t thrown backward too far after each hit. Then, make sure you collect everything around the rock. That way, the materials have space to fall on the ground. Now, you can finally mine!

How It Works:

  • Use the rocks on your island as a primary source for mining.
  • Hit them daily to get iron nuggets.


1. Take out your shovel from your inventory.

2. Walk up to a rock.

3. Dig two holes behind your character.

4. Keep pressing A to hit the rock until money doesn’t come out anymore.

5. Collect your iron nuggets.

6. Do this to all stones on your island.


2. Mine on a Mysterious Island

I wish my singing voice was half as good as Kapp’n’s.

Now that you’ve run out of iron on your island, it’s time to visit another! Kapp’n can help you with that. He’ll take you to random islands for 1000 Nook Miles, but you can only set sail once a day. If your tools break while on the mysterious island, buy more from Kapp’n for 100 Miles each.

Earn Miles by checking out the Nook Miles+ app on your phone. It’s filled with tasks that make it easy to earn the currency. The assignments at the top yield 2–5 times the Miles when completed!

How It Works:

  • Earn Nook Miles.
  • Talk to Kapp’n to sail to an island.
  • Mine for iron nuggets on the island.
  • Do this daily.


1. Walk up to Kapp’n.

2. Press A to speak to him.

3. Select “Aye! I’m ready to go!” 

4. Refer to the previous section's steps to learn how to mine.


1. Mine on a Friend’s Island

One ticket to my buddy's island, please!

This method is valuable since it’s available three days after you start the game. However, you need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, which starts at $4.00 in the United States. 

Once the Dodo Airline is open, you’re set for travel! It might be easier to ask a friend if they have spare iron nuggets lying around. That way, you can exchange something else for them.  

How It Works:

  • Use the internet to travel to a friend’s island via Dodo Airlines.
  • Mine at your friend’s island.


1. Go to Dodo Airlines.

2. Talk to Orville.

3. Select “I want to fly!”

4. Select “I want to visit someone.”

5. Select “online play” or “local play” (“local play” requires that you’re on the same Wi-Fi as the other person).

6. If you select “online play,” choose “Search for a friend” once your friend has their gate open on their island. Otherwise, your friend will have to give you a personal Dode Code, and you’ll have to select “Search via Dodo Code” to type it in.

7. If you select “local play,” you should be able to connect with the user immediately.

8. Refer to the steps in “Mine on Your Island” once you find rocks on your friend’s island.


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You'll likely find CaLea tending to her island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Nothing is more important to her than making sure her villagers are happy - and making sure they never leave.
Gamer Since: 2006
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Top 3 Favorite Games:Diablo, Life is Strange, The Sims 4

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